Dog Training World Forums Behavior Problems Dog Anxiety Is hole digging anxiety? Reply To: Is hole digging anxiety?

  • Michael D'Abruzzo

    October 31, 2016 at 4:20 am

    I agree with Scott, it is almost always a sign of boredom unless it is very hot outside and dogs will then dig to lay in the cooler soil.  I would suggest using a housebreaking chart to get a base line.  I attached a file below.

    [attachment file=8267]

    Print the chart and put it on the fridge (or anywhere easy to get to).  To use the chart mark down EVERYTHING you do with the puppy and everything the puppy does good AND bad.  For example:

    – when you feed the puppy

    -when you play with the puppy or when she plays with another dog

    -when she is chewing on something like a bully stick

    -when she pees/poops (and if it is in appropriate place)

    -when you train the puppy

    -when she sleeps

    What you will start to see are trends after a week.  It will give you a base of what she needs at the moment.  If there is lots of digging, record the times and it will be good time to give her something to chew or a time to play or train.  If she has accidents at certain times, you may want to take her outside just before those times, or you may want to adjust feeding times.  It gives you and us a base to troubleshoot.  We always start this way before using any kind of punishment on a pup or we may complicate things by causing side effects (such as excessive submissive peeing).   German Shepherd puppies are not very easy no mater what breeder they come from.

    Remember to always refer to the main behavior triangle to understand foundations (hence foundation style dog training) .  If there is a “drive balance” problem, it is nearly impossible to fix a “habitation” problem such as hole digging which rests upon it.  “Anxiety” also below habitation, although this sounds mostly like a drive balance issue.  Please let us know if you have any questions about this.